Check out our interview with talented pop singer and Broadway actress Ava Della Pietra who just released her new single “Happy For You.”
A sleek, electro-pop track about watching a love interest fall for someone else, it’s the first single from Ava’s upcoming EP, slated for release this spring.
“A prolific, motivated, and multi-faceted creative” (American Songwriter), Ava has emerged as one of the most promising young artists on the pop scene today, having already established herself in the original Broadway cast of School of Rock. Inspired by her time in the show, Ava taught herself to play piano, bass, guitar, violin, and ukulele, which she now performs simultaneously using a loop pedal, and began writing songs to help other girls her age deal with challenges like social pressure, anxiety, and even depression. Her earnestness and positive message have grown her a steady fanbase, with her recent single “power of you” reaching #21 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, alongside artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift.
Follow Ava @avadellapietra
Hi Ava, please tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m a 17-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. I’ve been performing since I was seven and have been lucky enough to perform on Broadway and various national tours. I play several instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, violin, and ukulele. I’ve won a bunch of songwriting awards and have written over 130 songs, which I’ve recorded and released. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I love making music that means something to me and hopefully to others too.
How would you Describe yourself in 3 words
Three words that describe me are kind, hardworking, and dedicated
We’re sure you have been asked this million times, but how did you get in the industry?
From a very young age, I was always drawn to performing. I loved singing, dancing, and making up stories to tell my family and friends. When I was seven, I got my first big break playing Little Cosette in the National Tour of Les Misérables and that’s really where my career as a performer started. I continued to pursue musical theater, but I also discovered my passion for songwriting and storytelling. It was during my time in School of Rock on Broadway when I was ten that I got to record my first song in a recording studio in New York City, and that experience really solidified my love for creating music. It’s been a journey filled with hard work, determination, and lots of amazing experiences, and I feel so grateful to be doing what I love!
How has working in the entertainment industry changed your life?
Working in the entertainment industry has truly changed my life in ways that I never could have imagined. Through my experiences performing in Les Misérables and School of Rock, I’ve been fortunate enough to become part of a community of talented actors and musicians from all walks of life. Being exposed to such a diverse group of people has taught me so much about different perspectives and ideas, and how they can come together to create something truly beautiful, far superior to the sum of its individual constituents. As a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with producers in different parts of the country and even in London. Together, we combined different musical sensibilities to create something unique and truly special. Overall, my experiences have taught me the value of collaboration and how bringing different backgrounds and perspectives together can be a source of hybrid vigor and lead to incredible achievements.
If you were asked to describe your sound in 3 words, what would you say?
If I had to describe my sound in just three words, I would say (1) versatile, (2) authentic, and (3) relatable. While my music falls within the pop, indie, or country genres, I always try to create a unique sound that is true to myself and that reflects my personal experiences. I value authenticity in my music, and I always write and perform from the heart. Also, I want my music to connect with listeners on a personal level, so I work hard to write lyrics that cover a wide range of topics and emotions. Ultimately, I want my sound to be something that everyone can enjoy and connect with, regardless of their musical preferences.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I’m constantly inspired by so many incredible artists, including Dua Lipa, Alec Benjamin, Lorde, Maroon 5, Conan Gray, and many more. What I love most about these artists is how they’re able to create beautiful melodies while also telling a story through their lyrics in a clever and unique way. I’m also drawn to artists with interesting vocal styles. Listening to these artists always sparks my own creative flow and provides me with endless inspiration for my own music.
I’ve been writing my own music for as long as I can remember, but the moment I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a songwriter was when I performed at the Sundance Film Festival when I was 13. After finishing my first 30-minute set, someone in the audience yelled “encore!” Throughout my set, people were dancing along and showing genuine enthusiasm for my music. Hearing the audience’s positive reactions and feeling that connection with them was an unforgettable experience that cemented my passion for creating and sharing music that moves and inspires others.
How did you choose which instruments to play?
Choosing which instruments to play was a combination of family influence and inspiration from my peers. I started playing the piano and violin at the age of four, mainly because both instruments had a long history in my family. But my introduction to the electric bass was a bit more spontaneous. I had a callback audition for School of Rock on Broadway, and the casting director asked if I played bass. So I worked hard and taught myself the audition song in four days, which helped me to land the role. Once I was on Broadway, I was surrounded by incredibly talented child actors who were also musicians. Seeing their passion and skill with instruments like the guitar and ukulele inspired me to start learning those as well.
Tell us about your new single “Happy For You”? What’s the story behind the song?
“Happy For You” tells the story of an experience that I had watching someone that I had a crush on fall deeply in love with someone else. I remember feeling conflicted because on one hand, I genuinely wanted to be happy for him and support his happiness, but on the other hand, I couldn’t shake off my own feelings. It was a difficult emotional journey to go through, and I wanted to capture those conflicting emotions in my music. When I sat down to write the song, I drew on my own experiences and tried to be as honest as possible. I think the lyrics capture the complex emotions that can come with unrequited love. Ultimately, my hope for “Happy For You” is that it will resonate with listeners and help them feel less alone in their own emotional journeys. It’s a song about the ups and downs of love, and my ultimate goal is to offer solace and understanding to those who have experienced a similar situation.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of making music is hearing from fans how my music has impacted their lives. I had a lot of special moments especially over quarantine when I released my single “Optimist”. Fans reached out to me over social media to tell me how much my music inspired them to keep going during a really difficult time. One guy even sent me a video via Instagram of himself in tears explaining the positive impact my song had on his mental health.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned in your career so far?
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my career so far is the importance of perseverance and resilience. As a child actress, I experienced my fair share of rejection and disappointment when auditioning for roles. It can be tough to put yourself out there and be told “no”. As the saying goes, “In order to win, you have to know how to lose.” However, I learned that rejection is just a part of the process, and that every “no” brings you one step closer to a “yes.” This lesson has served me well in my music career as well. As a singer-songwriter, it can be difficult to get noticed. However, I’ve learned that success in music (as in any field) is often a matter of determination. The ability to keep pushing forward in the face of setbacks is what separates successful artists from those who give up too soon.
Another important lesson that I’ve learned in my career is the importance of staying true to yourself and your values. As a child actress, I was fortunate to work with many talented and supportive people who helped me stay grounded and focused on what was important. As a singer-songwriter, I’ve tried to bring that same sense of authenticity and integrity to my music. I think audiences can tell when an artist is being true to themselves, and I believe that it’s important to maintain that authenticity even in the face of industry pressures or trends.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be to “go for it” without hesitation, especially when it comes to releasing music. When I was younger, I had a tendency to hold back and wait until I felt that my work was perfect before sharing it with the world. Looking back, I realize that releasing music is not about achieving perfection but about sharing your thoughts and emotions with others. It’s about conveying a message that people can relate to and creating a sense of community through music. You never know who your music will resonate with, and the impact you make through your art can be truly transformative.
What’s next for Ava Della Pietra in 2023?
In 2023, I am looking forward to releasing more of my music and sharing it with my fans. Writing and recording my songs has always been a huge passion of mine, and I can’t wait to continue telling my story through my music. I’ve also always dreamed of being in a movie or TV show, and I hope to explore opportunities in that area in the future.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is all about being the best version of myself and using my creative talents to make a positive impact on the world. As a musician, my goal is to create and share music that resonates with others and brings them joy. Creating music is a deeply personal and emotional process for me. When I see my fans singing along to my songs, dancing at my concerts, and truly connecting with my music, it’s the most rewarding feeling. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that I can touch people’s lives through my music and make a difference in their day.
Please name your favorite…
Book: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (or really any Agatha Christie book!)
Quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Movie: Knives Out
Tv Series: The Good Place
Favorite Food: Pasta
Travel Destination: Anywhere in the Caribbean
Sports Team: I don’t really watch sports, but I do enjoy watching tennis! I’m a big fan of Roger Federer.
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez